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Help! Second surgery scheduled for this Thursday and I dont know if I should do it...

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi all!

I need advice. I just had my right lobe taken out but when they tested it when I was in surgery it showed indeterminate but now further testing shows it is cancer (stage 1 and super small) and the surgeon says I should do the second surgery within 10 days of first surgery, that that is the standard protocal. He does about 150 thyroid surgeries a year and came highly recommended from several sources but I find it is hard to talk and my voice is really hoarse so Im hesitant to do another surgery because I dont want to lose my voice but I have 2 young kids and honestly dying is not an option so want to be proactive. Should I wait to see if my voice gets better or just do it now and hope I dont lose my voice. Any help would be greatly appreciated.Thanks everyone! Wishing you all much health and happiness. :) Elisa

Posts: 582
Joined: Oct 2010

A horse voice is normal after throat surgery. If it is cancer, the standard procedure is to remove the whole thyroid as soon as possible. Your doctor can test your vocal chords to make sure there is no damage before and after the second surgery. Vocal chord damage is a risk with this type of surgery but it is rare with a good surgeon.

I was also stage 1. I was diagnosed before my thyroidectomy (fine needle biopsy) but ended up having two more surgeries to remove lymph nodes because of spread. I am B-RAF (mutation gene) positive. You might ask them to test your tissue for this gene. Forty-three percent of us Thyroid cancer patients are positive and it can mean the difference between conservative or more aggressive treatment in the beginning to be proactive with your treatment. I wasn't given RAI (Radioactive Iodine) after my Thyroidectomy because I was only stage 1, however they did not know I was B-RAF positive until after it had spread to the lymph nodes (surgery #2). Save yourself some aggravation and additional surgeries. Surgery #3 was done by a different surgeon because the ENT that did my first and second surgeries missed the targeted nodes in the second surgery. ENT's are not as familiar with how cancer spreads as an Endocrinologist/Oncologist who does surgery. Because of the error I had to do a second round of RAI after my third surgery. Try to avoid this and learn from what happened to me. I share this information to help you and with great love.

It is fantastic that you are stage 1. Your prognosis is very good. Although I don't buy into "this is the best cancer to get" theory, your chances of survival are outstanding. Be prepared for a life change though. Life without a thyroid is very different and you will adjust on medication and some lifestyle changes. I recommend following this site and keep asking questions from those of us who have been through it. There is a great deal of knowledge here.

Be strong and be positive. You will live to see your children grow up and you will be stronger and smarter from the experience.


Baldy's picture
Posts: 243
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Elisa,

Your hoarse voice could also be from being intubated during surgery. It took several weeks for me to get over it after my surgery, but my surgery took longer than yours will since I also had a bunch of lymph nodes removed. Before the surgery my surgeon told me I'd have the worst sore throat I've ever had just from being intubated for four or five hours. It was close, but I've had worse sore throats from viruses. My experience wasn't too bad since I was able to keep from talking for the most part, but with little kids, I don't know if you'll be able to do that.

They did check for vocal chord damage, my surgeon endoscopied me both before and after the surgery. Before to see if metastasis had spread to my throat and after to see if there was any vocal chord damage. If I remember correctly, the possibility of damage is not to the vocal chords themselves, but to the nerve that controls them.

If it were me, I'd do it ASAP, just because I wouldn't want it hanging over my head. Also, the sooner it's out, the less likely it will metastisize.

You should also know, just because the tumor is super small, doesn't mean it won't metastisize. I had four tumors in my thyroid, none of which was over 2.6 mm, according to my endo, he's never heard of tumors under 5 mm metastisizing before but mine had. The odds may be very very good they won't metastisize, but there is a slight possibility they will.


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